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I’m finally on summer vacation from work. So far, my days have included a lot of sleeping, lounging, reading, TV-watching, and general laziness. I cannot recommend these things enough.
I’m excited to share what I read in June, but I’ve decided to switch up these monthly recaps a bit. In addition to the books I read, I also want to include things I loved throughout the month, whether it’s a podcast or a recipe. I’d love for you to share your favorite things too in the comments below.
Let’s get going.
What I Read
The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
When Irish detective Cormac Reilly first started his career twenty years ago, he was called to a house in the middle of nowhere in which he found a woman who had overdosed on heroin. She left behind two kids, Maude and Jack. When The Ruin opens, Jack has just committed suicide, but his sister and girlfriend don’t believe that’s true. With the past resurfacing, Reilly is told to re-open the investigation of Jack’s mother’s death, which also might not be what it seems.
I enjoyed this dark and twisty crime story. Reilly is an engaging, well-developed character who never forgot Maude and Jack and what they went through. The blurb on the cover of this book says it’s perfect for fans of Tana French, and I agree. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
The Night Before by Wendy Walker
Laura was devastated by an awful breakup, which led her to leave her life in New York City to move in with Rosie, her sister, and brother-in-law. Laura decides to give online dating a try, but when she doesn’t come home from a date, Rosie knows something is wrong and sets out to find her. Due to an incident in Laura’s past, Rosie doesn’t know whether Laura might be a victim or a perpetrator.
Though this book is entertaining, it lacks depth and nuance. I like thrillers that have well-rounded characters and believable twists, and I don’t think The Night Before has either.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Lo is a travel journalist who finally has a good assignment: she gets to spend a week on a new luxury cruise that offers beautiful scenery, pampering, and fine dining. One night in her cabin, Lo hears what sounds like a scream and a body thrown over the side of the ship. She looks outside and sees blood on a partition next to her room. When she reports what happened, the head of security doubts her story. All the guests are present, the blood has been cleaned up, and Lo has a few reasons why she might not be the most reliable witness.
The Woman in Cabin 10 is a fun read that’s perfect for summer. The novel has solid pacing and just enough creepiness to keep things interesting.
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
Though I read three thrillers in June, this nonfiction book was the most gripping page-turner I read all month. Beth Macy’s account of America’s opioid epidemic is utterly fascinating. She weaves together threads of poverty, addiction, politics, and a corrupt pharmaceutical company and presents a story as compelling as it is heartbreaking. If you’re looking for a better understanding of opioid addiction, this book is a must-read.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
This novel’s protagonist has a life many young women envy. She’s a young, thin, beautiful blonde who is living in NYC, thanks to her inheritance. She works at an art gallery and has an older man who’s interested in her. She’s unsatisfied and unmotivated, though, and begins seeing a psychiatrist who gives her exactly what she wants: the ability to numb everything she doesn’t want to feel and the chance to just sleep for a year.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is worth all the hype it’s received. This novel is an absolute delight and one I wish I would have read sooner. (If you like this book, check out The New Me by Halle Butler. It has a similar theme and tone.)
What I Loved
PODCAST: To Live and Die in L.A.
Journalist Neil Strauss hosts this show which investigates the disappearance of Adea Shabani, a beautiful 25-year-old aspiring actress who came to Hollywood to chase her dreams. This true-crime podcast is the first I’ve ever binge-listened. (Is that a thing? I think it’s a thing.)
Jack has been trying to get his music career off the ground for over ten years with no luck. As he’s heading home one night after a gig, the entire world loses power for twelve seconds, and something strange happens: certain things that were once beloved no longer exist. Jack remembers the Beatles, but no one else does. He knows this is his chance to make it big, so he passes off their music as his own and quickly becomes the most famous musician in the world.
I liked this film even more than I thought I would, even though the plotline has a few holes. I’ve loved the Beatles ever since I was a little kid, and this movie reminded me of why.
GADGET: Chef’n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper
I LOVE THIS LITTLE CHOPPER SO MUCH. I’m not a good or fast chopper, so I use this a lot. Even though it’s not motorized, it’s fast and powerful. It can handle crunchy carrots just as well as it handles hardboiled eggs. This is one of my most used kitchen tools.
- ARTICLE: The Ultimate Summer Books Preview of 2019 @ LitHub
- INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @things.i.bought.and.liked
- ARTICLE: When the World’s Most Famous Mystery Writer Vanished @ The New York Times
- RECIPE: Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes @ Dinner Then Dessert
- VIDEO: Under a Rock with Tig Notaro feat. James Van Der Beek
- VIDEO: An Evening with Stephen Colbert at PaleyFest LA
- VIDEO: SAG-AFTRA Conversation with Seth Meyers